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A Different Fish Story

localcrew  /  Sep 29, 2008  /  4 Min Read  /  Fly Fishing

[Photo: Ignacio Muldonado with a 32" Brown, courtesy Brian Bennett's (aka Patagonia fishing guru) website, Moldy Chum.]


Regular readers of The Cleanest Line have learned to rely on regular product posts from our committed Customer Service representatives. They’re “Field Reports” of a sort . . . notes from the field about their adventures in our back-yard and beyond.

This story’s a little different. It comes to us from Michelle L., one of the young ladies responsible for making our website look good. Inspired by her cohorts here in Reno, she picked a beautiful fall day to head out in pursuit of some of the lovely trout begging to be plucked from our challenging (and surprisingly rewarding) home waters here in the Truckee River.

Field Break – Attempting to Fish

It was a beautiful Fall Day here in the Truckee Meadows. It was time to take advantage of 80 degree weather, the river a-flowin’ and the recent Fish and Game trout stock event. I had heard from some friends that the action right outside our building was crazy. I figured I couldn’t go wrong.

I have to admit it had been quite some time since I’ve been able to give into one of my favorite past times. Life changing events like marriage, home purchasing, home cleaning, and grown-up things like “financial planning” don’t leave a lot of time for actually having fun with your finances. Child rearing takes up a lot of time and energy too, and let’s face it, fish hooks and chubby baby faces are not all that compatible. And besides, toddlers just want to do everything for you. There’s no way I could take my little boy fishing and actually get to fish.

So that morning I dusted off the gear in my garage, renewed my license and packed up the ‘ol Patagonia Hip Sack, laced up some Riverwalkers, and headed downstream from the Patagonia DC.

I threw out some line in an area where I’ve had some success before. I chuckled at my lame casting technique and made some adjustments to my reel. It hit me like a brick wall that I’ve had a few birthdays since I had thrown a cast.

I decided to keep walking downstream to a shady area and to a hole that a friend recommended. I picked a nice, quiet spot where the cottonwoods were providing a cool nest for my friend the rainbow trout. I plopped my feet in the water and just reveled in the sensation. I got in a few casts when an old timer came up behind me.

“How’s the fishin?” He kindly asked.

“Great!” I replied.


I was a little hesitant to put my skills on stage, but I went ahead and attempted to throw out the line. The line made it out into the river–along with the rod & reel–and I was left holding the handle. The entire thing had just snapped off.

“Oops,” said the old timer, and he quietly went on his way.

I splashed out into the current, repeating 4-letter words over and over again; which is also something I don’t get to do very often anymore.

My rod had sunk into the bottom of the river, near a rock, so I was at least able to retrieve it. As I examined the whole rig, I realized that it was useless so I chucked the rod into a park dumpster nearby, but managed to salvage the reel.

Then there was the walk of shame back to the Patagonia building. I had a little time to at least contemplate how I was going to approach my colleagues, who of course are generally considered hardcore anglers.

When I walked in, instant cries of “what happened??” echoed throughout the upstairs office as folks noticed I was just holding the reel. I decided to turn my frown upside down and remind my cohorts at Patagonia that no matter what happens out there in “committed to the core” land that it’s all about fun. I spun the story as if it was an old yarn. I’d much rather come back and make 20 people cry from laughter than have a giant trout on a stringer to show off.

Photo: All that remains of a fishing day that didn’t end like the rest . . .

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